BERLIN – He had to go through the qualifying round but reigning champion Churandy Martina didn’t need to extend himself too much to advance through to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m in the first session of the 2018 European Athletics Championships in Berlin on Monday (6). Click Here For Results
Martina, who won the title in 2016, breezed through the first afternoon session on qualifying day with the fastest time after winning heat 1 of five in 10.24 seconds.
The time was just off the Dutch sprinter’s quickest for the season, at 10.20.
“This round went well, better than I expected,” Martina said after making progress. “With the first round, you do not know how it will go.
“The weather is nice and hot.”
The 34-year-old added: “My ambition is to perform better than last time – to win with a better time than in 2016.
“I changed my coach and we work in a different way now, we listen more to the body.”
The Swiss pair of Silvan Wicki and Alex Wilson also progressed through to the semi-finals after winning their respective heat.
Wicki clocked 10.28 to take the fifth heat, while Wilson stopped the clock at 10.31 to win heat 3.
Also advancing as heat winners were Portugal’s Yazaldes Nascimento (10.33) and Jonathan Quarcoo (10.37) of Norway.
Home favourite Julian Reus also made it through after taking second to Nascimento in heat 2 with 10.37.
“This was great. It is such a great luck to have these championships here (Berlin),” said Reus, who has a season’s best of 10.15.
“My race was good, I got a big Q and can rest until tomorrow. This system with direct qualification for the fastest sprinters is ok for me.
“I am happy to race today, it is different for everybody.”
On the women’s side, the biggest cheer of the day was given to Germany’s Lisa Marie Kwayie and she went on to advance in the women’s 100m with the fastest time of 11.30.
Reigning European U23 champion Ewa Swoboda of Poland was second 11.33.
Elsewhere, France’s Victor Coroller was the fastest qualifier in the 400m hurdles heats with a time of 50.10, but former world and European champion Dai Greene of Great Britain was a non-starter for his heat after failing to overcome yet another injury.
In the field, Miltiadis Tentoglou from Greece led the qualifying round of the men’s Long Jump with a mark of 8.15m with Fabian Heinle of Germany also going over the automatic qualifying standard of 8.00m when he stretched out to 8.02m.
Pawel Fajdek of Poland led the qualifiers in the men’s Hammer Throw with 77.86m, while reigning three-time European shot put champion David Storl did 20.63m to advance to the men’s Shot Put final.
“This circle is good – it is not too fast, not too slow. I think we can see throws over 80 metres tomorrow,” Fajdek said.
“Three, four, maybe even five guys can make it if they feel 100 percent OK. I have been doing this all my life so of course, I want to win. I had many problems in the past so I want to do my best.
“I tried to not to change my technique but I think it has changed due to the injury.”